Are You Finding the Best People? They are usually employed - and seldom looking
By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | February 22, 2010
The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed what many long have suspected - namely, that "Online job boards have lost their cachet." (July 12, 2005) Why?
According to the Journal, they are yielding "landslides of r'esum'es" that mostly come from unqualified candidates.
"The trick - something that executive-search firms and headhunters have known for decades - is that the perfect candidate is usually working happily at a desk somewhere."
The Journal is exactly right.
There are two types of job candidates, in the parlance of professional recruiters. The first is the so-called "active" candidate, who is either seeking new employment or at least wanting to test the waters. Active candidates may or may not be employed. The "passive" candidate, by contrast, is certainly employed and too engaged in his or her work to be actively looking.
While there is nothing wrong with the active candidate (and we would disagree completely with those recruiters who regard them as "damaged goods"), it is a poor recruitment strategy to limit one's search to the active candidate pool. And that, unfortunately, is the great limitation of job boards and corporate websites, whose portals are open 24/7. They are directed primarily at those individuals who need or want to find a new job. Moreover, those in need of new employment tend to be less discriminating in responding to opportunities, meaning that there will be many responses from those who are under or over-qualified. To make matters worse, the more popular your company is as a place to work, the more useless r'esum'es it is likely to receive.